Waverley Borough Council

Village and Town Design Statements

What are Village and Town Design Statements?

Village Design Statements (VDS) and Town Design Statements (TDS):

  • provide a clear statement of the character of a particular village or town against which planning applications may be assessed
  • supply a framework for local people to determine how their community might develop and grow and how development can be in keeping with their local surroundings
  • help developers to understand local views and perceptions, enabling them to propose new development that will gain local support, rather than generate conflict and opposition.

Village and Town Design Statements are not about whether development should take place (this is the purpose of the Local Plan, but assess how development should be undertaken so as to respect the local identity.

Guidance for producing a Village or Town Design Statement

The Countryside Commission has published some basic guidance to help groups produce a Village Design Statement (VDS) or Town Design Statement (TDS).

These documents go through all the relevant stages from preparation, to research and finally publication.

The documents are produced and drawn up by people living in the area to which the Statement relates and not by the Planning Service.

Over the next few webpage's is a protocol to provide initial advice and guidance to those thinking of preparing a VDS/TDS and some background to those who wish to use an adopted VDS/TDS.   The complete protocol can also be downloaded as a single document

Local people are best placed to identify local character and distinctiveness which could help to improve the general quality of design. They are also able to describe the setting, pattern and shape of a settlement, the nature of buildings and spaces, local materials, landmarks, unique qualities and special features.

When submitting a planning application in an area covered by a VDS or TDS, it is strongly suggested that the document is referred to in the accompanying Design and Access Statement. This should clearly explain how the VDS or TDS has been considered when developing the proposal.


Page owner: Sarah Wells. Last updated: 14/10/2014 14:33